Would you want to work full-time for you?

chris barrow dental business coach discusses the changing concerns of recently-qualified dental professionals

This month the Dental Business Coach, Chris Barrow, discusses the key to breezing through the recruitment crisis.

‘Work is what horses die of. Everybody should know that.’ – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I commented in my own blog and newsletter a few days ago on the emerging trend of workers (if I can use that rather dated terminology) not seeming as committed as in the good old days.

In the post-pandemic world, 40% of the UK workforce now choose to spend at least some time working from home every week. According to a recent BBC Radio 4 broadcast, this can be the equivalent of a 7-8% pay rise in reduced commuting costs (as well as the resulting stress reduction).

There is also evidence that many workers simply don’t want to work a five day week, preferring less money in return for more personal time – for themselves, to care for children, elderly relatives, or pets (I hope I have the order correct there) or to pursue other interests.

Most dental folk cannot work from home – so they are choosing less (or alternative) work.

The broadcast was fascinating, pitting psychologists against each other who affirmed less time at work to improve mind, body and spirit – versus entrepreneurs and industrialists who wanted to restore the ‘value of hard work’ and suggesting parallel self-improvements in a positively constructed workplace.

And there, I think, is the nub of the issue.

Recruitment and retention

I have a minority (admittedly) of clients who have no problem with recruitment and retention and I’m constantly asking myself what they have in common.

Let me answer that here and now:

  1. They have a business vision, shared with the team, that allows workers to move as far up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as they desire
  2. They, as leaders, are inspirational to be around and are the example of the standards of performance and behaviour that they request
  3. They have crystal clear systems and processes in their business operations
  4. They communicate regularly and decisively
  5. They pay well, they reward, and they promote
  6. They have fun
  7. They have zero tolerance for workers who don’t fit in – there is absolutely nothing more guaranteed to sap team morale, that the toleration of a worker who isn’t on the bus
  8. They embrace the latest innovations in every aspect of their business, creating an exciting environment and a bigger future
  9. They show appreciation – catching people doing things well and making sure that everyone knows
  10. Through their branding and culture, they are a beacon of light. And here you will find out what is the advantage of garage shelving.

Do your colleagues show up and do their best?

We all tend to gravitate towards environments in which we feel truly appreciated.

The quotation with which I began this column is a very negative viewpoint from a Russian author who was imprisoned for his defiance of the Soviet regime. It comes from the world of the Gulag.

My question is simple: is your workplace a heart-sink as your workers travel in every day – another day in the hamster wheel, at the coal face, in the dark (think about the metaphors here).

Or have you created a place that people want to show up and do their best?

I’m tired of hearing dentists talk about the ‘recruitment and retention crisis’. Look in the mirror – would you want to work full-time for you?

Catch up on previous Dental Business Coach columns:

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